Talent from both of Juneau’s high school teams ditched their crosstown rivalry for American Legion Baseball this summer and are making the case that Juneau is the best baseball town in the state. The evidence of Juneau’s supremacy is piling up: Post 25 hasn’t been beaten since its opening weekend.
Juneau slashed to a 10-game win streak with two wins against Ketchikan on Friday, putting its league record at 11-1. Post 25’s triumphs came from a combined three runs as Ketchikan gave Juneau a run for its money.
With six games left to play, Juneau stands one point ahead of Chugiak Post 33 (10-4) in the National Division. Juneau’s 45 points are second only to Kenai Post 20, whose 53 points in the American Division lead the league overall. (Legion baseball operates on a points system with wins earning 4 points, ties 2 and losses 1.)
The boys secured a berth to the state tournament with the two wins. They’re far enough ahead of fourth-place East Post 34 (5-7) to guarantee a top-three spot in the National Division.
Juneau 9, Ketchikan 7
In the first game of the doubleheader, Juneau got it done with a committee approach from the mound and solid performances from the plate by Kasey Watts and Anthony DeAsis.
Donavin McCurley and Jake Tanner split time in the nine-inning game, each throwing 89 pitches in four innings for 53 and 47 strikes respectively. Watts went 2-4 from the plate with two RBIs while DeAsis went 2-3 and a score.
McCurley and Finn Collins showcased their trademark speed on the basepaths, scoring two runs each.
After ceding a run to Ketchikan in the first inning, Post 25 led from the second on, earning an early cushion with a three runs in the second and third innings. Juneau’s lead climbed to 9-3 in the seventh when Watts drilled a line drive to center field that brought McCurley and Collins home.
Ketchikan rallied furiously in the bottom of the ninth, hitting an RBI double before loading the bases and scoring off two RBI walks and a ground ball fielder’s choice. Collins replaced Tanner for the last nine pitches of the game, stopping Ketchikan’s rally and closing scoring at 9-7.
Juneau 5, Ketchikan 4
Post 25 was the team that needed the rally in the second game. Facing a three-run deficit, Juneau put together a four-run fifth inning to come away with the 5-4 victory.
Watts again led the team from the plate with two hits on four at bats. RBI singles from Quin Gist, DeAsis, Tanner and McCurley secured the game-winning rally for Juneau.
Zeb Storie pitched an excellent six innings in the seven-inning game, throwing 102 pitches for 68 strikes and six strikeouts. Storie scattered five hits for one earned run.
Ketchikan opened scoring with two runs on a ground ball error in the second. Storie struck back and brought Watts home on a ground ball single in the second.
The score remained notched at 2-1 until the fifth when Ketchikan scored two off a left field single and an error before Juneau made its fifth-inning rally.
Watts took the mound in the seventh and it was three up, three down off two fly outs and a ground out to close the game 5-4.
• Contact Sports editor Kevin Gullufsen at 523-2258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.